I have always wanted to go to Charleston. I really don't know why. Maybe it was reading Gone With the Wind. Perhaps it was some other historical reference that got stuck in my brain - but I've wanted to go to Charleston the way Babygirl wanted to go to Paris.
When Hurricane Arthur put us a day behind on our travel plans we contemplated skipping Charleston. We discussed skipping Savannah. Turns out Hubby had a thing about Savannah like I had a thing about Charleston. Go figure.
But Hubby is a sensible man. "Happy wife, happy life!" Right? So we went to Charleston.
As we were approaching Charleston on the strength of our road atlas (since GPS will only help you if you know exactly where you want to go), I said to Hubby, "We don't want to cross any big water." Next thing I know we are on a huge bridge hundreds of feet above Charleston harbor. Oops.
I am nothing if not flexible. We were now on the same side of the harbor as the USS Yorktown. Hubby was more than glad to add that to our list of things to do, and Babygirl is always up for an adventure, so we paid the $10 parking fee and got on the boat.
I have to say that it was an amazing side trip. Did you know that you can take your youth group/scout troop and spend the night on the Yorktown? It has got to be the most awesome sleepover ever - they use the sailor's bunks and everything. We toured the ship, the planes, the Medal of Honor museum, a submarine and a Vietnam-era MASH unit. We then took a water taxi to Charleston proper.
Historic Charleston is absolutely beautiful. The waterfront, the market, the fountains, the historic homes, the churches....sigh. We signed up for a horse-drawn carriage ride. I was disappointed to be told that the horses 'won' their routes by lottery, and we had rather poor odds of going past the famous waterfront homes and Rainbow Row on the horse tour since the lottery rarely fell to that route. I figured we'd get a local map and walk it if need be, and we spent the hour waiting for our tour in the market. We watched people weave sweet grass baskets.
We clambered aboard our carriage and were lucky enough to get front row seats. Our carriage horse was a retired Amish plow horse, and the horseshoes had a layer of rubber tire between his hooves and the metal shoes for extra comfort. As we pulled up the the bingo-ball machine that would assign our route, our driver asked everyone to pick a color: Red, yellow or blue? I was the only one who picked yellow. And yellow was what we got - the Rainbow Row route!
I spent a blissful hour admiring things I had only read about. Twice the horse had to pull us up to the highest point in Charleston - 12 feet above sea level!
We caught our water taxi back to the Yorktown (and unexpectedly had to walk an extra mile around it to get to the truck - July 4th festivities!). I was sad to leave, and would gladly go back and spend more than a day, but it was nice to check it off my list!